In The Loyal Mountains

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Overview

To quote the Los Angeles Times: "Impelled by a profound love of the land, the ten stories in In the Loyal Mountains are a reminder that American literature draws its unique strength from a powerful sense of place." In this luminous collection, Rick Bass firmly establishes himself as a master of the short story, with tales that embrace vibrant images of ordinary human life and exuberant descriptions of the natural world.

These tales embrace vibrant images of human ...

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In the Loyal Mountains: Stories

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Overview

To quote the Los Angeles Times: "Impelled by a profound love of the land, the ten stories in In the Loyal Mountains are a reminder that American literature draws its unique strength from a powerful sense of place." In this luminous collection, Rick Bass firmly establishes himself as a master of the short story, with tales that embrace vibrant images of ordinary human life and exuberant descriptions of the natural world.

These tales embrace vibrant images of human life and exuberant explorations of the natural world. Although his work is grounded in reality, Bass's stories acquire fantastic proportions--enormous pigs charge through the streets and root beneath houses. Each of the stories is a mythical narrative celebrating the tentative, moving relationship between people and their environment.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Moving and self-assured . . . something like the heft of a wonderfully layered novel." Publishers Weekly, Starred

"Bass's fiction takes us to the borders of civiliation, here we glimpse an untamed worlds of myth and mystery." Entertainment Weekly

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this moving and self-assured collection of 10 stories (some of them linked, others not), Bass (Platte River) captures two very different regions of the country. A handful of the selections are set in an isolated Montana valley, a place inhabited by cougars and bears and the occasional pedestrian who gets pulled off the road and mauled. Others are set in the deep South, including ``The Legend of Pig-Eye,'' in which a Mississippi boxer recounts the bizarre training rituals of his instructor, which include outswimming a crazed horse named Killer. All of the stories are told in the first person, and all the narrators are men. Often looking back at important moments in their lives, they never waver in their love for their environments: ``I wake up smiling sometimes because I have all my days left to live in this place,'' says the unnamed narrator of ``The Valley.'' For that love, the men often pay a price measured in human isolation, but they pay it willingly. The protagonist of ``Swamp Boy'' speaks for most of Bass's men when he says: ``My heart was wild and did not belong among people.'' Between the opening story, ``The History of Rodney'' (a Southern-gothic tale about the denizens of a pig-infested Mississippi ghost town), and the close of the title story (a nostalgic riff on Texas, suicide and golf) Bass achieves a solid thematic cohesion and an irrational sort of communion among the stories that give this collection something like the heft of a wonderfully layered novel. (June)
Tobin Harshaw
This is a collection of stories about men -- men and nature, men and guns, men and women and, mostly, men and loneliness....Through his understanding of the West's least trammeled corners, he leads us into mountains we would never survive alone and takes us convincingly into magic realism. -- New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395877470
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/15/1997
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 178
  • Sales rank: 852,804
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

RICK BASS’s fiction has received O. Henry Awards, numerous Pushcart Prizes, awards from the Texas Institute of Letters, fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, among others. Most recently, his memoir Why I Came West was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award.

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Table of Contents

The History of Rodney 1
Swamp Boy 19
Fires 35
The Valley 51
Antlers 63
Wejumpka 77
The Legend of Pig-Eye 87
The Wait 111
Days of Heaven 129
In the Loyal Mountains 149
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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